The 2011-2012 WrestleMania Reading Challenge has reopened for another year! Registration is now open at Librarians and educators must register by July 31, 2011. In late August, they’ll receive the number of posters they requested to begin promoting the program at their libraries and schools.

Participation by youth is open to legal residents of all 50 United States and the District of Columbia, as well as legal residents of Canada excluding Quebec. Participants must be in grades 5-12.

Youth who wish to compete for tickets and a trip to WrestleMania 28 in Miami, Florida, will complete and submit a special project during Teen Read Week, Oct. 16-22, 2011.

Twenty-one finalists will be chosen in January 2012 and will win transportation, hotel, tickets and spending money to attend WrestleMania 28 in Miami. Their sponsoring library will win $2,000. Finalists will compete in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Championships, where they can win ringside tickets to WrestleMania 28 and other prizes.

Register today at!

Save $10 on next Thursday’s webinar If you register for YALSA’s Risky Business webinar by July 14, , taking place next Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern, you’ll save $10 over normal registration rates. That means the webinar is just $29 for individual YALSA members and $39 for all other individuals. Register today at

WrestleMania: We’ve made the Challenge shorter and simple. The WrestleMania Reading Challenge has changed this year to take place during just one week, making it simpler for you and your teens and tweens to particpate. Registering automatically enters you into a drawing for one of five sets of books from Penguin — and it gives teens and tweens at your library the chance to win tickets to WrestleMania and $2,000 for your library. It’s a surefire way to get new YA readers into your library. Don’t believe us? Then find out what happened at Bambi Mansfield’s library.’  Register today at

Win cold, hard cash from YALSA. Do you have an idea to make YALSA’s awards and booklists into household names, ensure young adult and school librarians have access to important research, help YALSA better advocate for quality library services for every teen in every library, develop continuing education or career services that librarians need or engage YALSA’s current membership and recruit new members? Of course you do. Well, YALSA will pay you $250 for that great idea (and YALSA committees are eligible to submit an idea, too). But you have to submit your idea to the Great Ideas contest by July 15.

New Books from YALSA Now available in the ALA Online Store: Risky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Library Services to Teens by Linda Braun, Hillias J. Martin, and Connie Urquhart and Multicultural Programs for Tweens and Teens, edited by Linda B. Alexander and Nahyun Kwon. Order your copy today!

After the jump, find out how you can win FREE BOOKS simply by registering for Teen Read Week, be a 2011 YALSA Emerging Leader, and more!

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Summer Course Registration Ends Tuesday Registration ends July 6 – that’s Tuesday – for YALSA’s summer online course, Power Up with Print! Instructor Jamie Watson will show participants how to boost the library’s circulation’ through the development of teen-centered programs,’ material evaluation and selection, booktalks and more, as well as discuss the latest trends in YA lit. Course registration now open at Courses cost $135 for YALSA members, $175 for ALA members, and $195 for nonmembers and will take place July 12 to August 9.

Congrats to YALSA’s Newest Spectrum Scholar! Congratulations are in order for Hoan-Vu Do, YALSA’s 2010-2011 Spectrum Scholar. Do will attend San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information’ Science.

WrestleMania Reading Challenge Registration You only have 30 days to register for the 2010-2011 Challenge! Remember, the Challenge has changed this year to take place during just one week, making it simpler for you and your teens and tweens to particpate. Registering automatically enters you into a drawing for one of five sets of books from Penguin — and it gives teens and tweens at your library the chance to win tickets to WrestleMania and $2,000 for your library. Register today at

Register for our July webinar! Registration is open for YALSA’s July webinar! Our July 15 webinar (Risky Business, hosted by Linda Braun) offers participants insights into effectively taking risks to manage and improve services to teens at your library. This in-depth, one-hour webinar will be held at 2 p.m. Eastern. Registration costs $39 for individual YALSA members, $49 for all other individuals. A group rate of $195 is available. Learn more (and find out details on our August and September webinars) at

After the jump, see how to win $250 from YALSA for your Great Idea,’  how you can get a free copy of Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults, 4th edition; how to win books’  simply by registering for Teen Read Week (it’s free!); who’s speaking at the Bill Morris Memorial Author Luncheon at the YA Lit Symposium, and how you can be a 2011 Emerging Leader!

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Win up to $1K to attend Library Advocacy Day YALSA will offer travel stipends of up to $1,000 each to five YALSA members to participate in ALA’s Library Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on June 29, 2010, held in conjunction with ALA Annual Conference. Applications are available as a PDF or Word document. They can also be downloaded at YALSA’s Awards and Grants page and must be sent to Applications are due one week from today, so be sure to get yours in!

William McKinley High School of Lima, Ohio, celebrates Teen Tech Week The kids on Glee went to the library last week. At about the sixteen-minute mark, you’ll see a familiar poster in the background.

Share your Great Idea You can win a prize from YALSA! Do you have a great idea to support YALSA’s goals in its strategic plan (PDF)? Share them with YALSA and you could win a prizes worth up to $250. Download an entry form (Word doc) today. Entries are due by May 1.

Register for our next webinar on advocacy Karen Keys will lead an hourlong webinar called VIPs: Why You Need Them for Advocacy on May 20 at 2 p.m. Eastern. Karen will explore how librarians and library workers can help grow their library program by improving communication and developing professional relationships with local town councilors, school board members, Chamber of Commerce members, and so on. Registration costs $39 for individual YALSA members, $49 for all other individuals and $195 for groups. Contact Eve Gaus at or 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5293 for more information.’  Mark your calendar for June 17, when Sarah Debraski will lead a webinar on YA classics.

After the jump, find out how you can save on early bird registration for YALSA’s YA Lit Symposium and ALA’s Annual Conference, sign up for YALSA’s Annual preconferences, register for Teen Read Week and the WrestleMania Reading Challenge, and more!

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Eighteen teens and tweens from across the United States and Canada have been selected as finalists in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment, with support from Mattel and DK Publishing.

These young readers will be going to Phoenix next month to compete for ringside tickets to WrestleMania XXVI. Congratulations to the finalists!

Grades 5-6
Andrew Hall, LaPorte, Texas (sponsored by librarian Anne Farley)
Melissa Rafet Dennis, Phoenix, Arizona (sponsored by librarian Taunya Pappenfus)
Cindy Leung, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (sponsored by librarian Michelle’  Papineau-Couture)
Gabriel Murrell, Courtice, Ontario, Canada (sponsored by librarian Tiffany Balducci)
Jordan Piekarski, Lansing, Illinois (sponsored by librarian Rebecca Malinowski)
Ricki Roberts, San Diego, Calif. (sponsored by librarian Leticia Direen)
Sailesh Srinivas, Hicksville, N.Y. (sponsored by librarian Judith Messler)

Grades 7-8
Katherine Bensburg, Mahopac, N.Y. (sponsored by librarian Rita Covelli)
Elmaz Mahmutovic, Sioux Falls, S.D. (sponsored by librarian Mary Peters)
Daniel Davila, Avandale, Ariz. (sponsored by librarian Kristin Fletcher-Spear)
Sofia Eury, Phoenix, Ariz. (sponsored by librarian Jill Harrell)
Kyle Duane Hoskins, Louisville, Ky. (sponsored by librarian Phyllis Bergant)
Nicholas Luz, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (sponsored by librarian librarian Michelle’  Papineau-Couture)
Liam Jose, Oshawa, Ont., Canada (sponsored by librarian Tiffany Balducci)
Valarie Winkleman, Whiting, Ind. (sponsored by librarian Montserrat Ingladas)

Grades 9-12
Brian Keith Chest Jr., Phoenix, Ariz. (sponsored by librarian Jill’ Harrell)
Tiffany Chu, Greensboro, N.C. (sponsored by librarian Jenny Shepherd)
La’Quan Deen, Homestead, Pa. (sponsored by librarian Emily Salsberry)
Brian Gastelum, San Diego, Calif. (sponsored by librarian Leticia Direen)
Emz Hunsley, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (sponsored by librarian Michelle’  Papineau-Couture)
Samantha Luck, Sault Ste Marie, Ont., Canada (sponsored by librarian Matthew MacDonald)

WrestleMania has come to a close. It’s time to mail your bookmark entries.

The bookmark must include a slogan that promotes reading (in either English or Spanish). Select one winner from each grade category: grades 5-6, grades 7-8 and grades 9-12. If you don’t have entries for all grade categories, that’s fine–just pick winners for the categories represented at your library. Bookmark entries (originals from your three winners only; use the bookmark entry form in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Toolkit [PDF]) must be physically mailed or shipped to the YALSA office, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60610, no later than January 31.

Before sending any entries, make sure that all entry forms are complete and legible, including contact information for the teen or tween entering the contest and the library. Each winner on the local level will receive a DVD and a certificate, provided the entry is received by the deadline.

Jill Whitson, a YALSA member, speaks to Thiruchelvan Selvanayagam about what it’s like to have your library sponsor a WrestleMania Reading Challenge finalist and encourage a reluctant teen to start reading. Jill’s student designed a bookmark that earned him a spot in the WrestleMania Challenge finals. He didn’t win, but he did get to attend WrestleMania XXV and Jill won $2,000 for her library’s teen and tween collection.

The WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment, is a program designed to encourage teens’ and tweens’ to continue their reading beyond Teen Read Week; by doing so, they can win prizes donated by WWE.

Want to register for the 2009-2010 WrestleMania Reading Challenge? Sign up through Teen Read Week registration by this Friday and you could relive the experience Jill describes in this podcast.


You can also subscribe to YALSA’s podcasts.

Registration for the 2009-2010 WrestleMania Reading Challenge will close July 31 —teens and tweens at your library could win a trip to WrestleMania XXVI in Phoenix, and you could win $2,000 for your library! Just complete Teen Read Week™ registration at and say “yes” to the WrestleMania Reading Challenge by July 31. .

The WrestleMania Reading Challenge, sponsored by YALSA and World Wrestling Entertainment, encourages teens and tweens in grades 5-12 to read one item a week for 10 weeks, starting in January. Teens and tweens can win prizes and incentives from WWE, including the chance to compete in the national WrestleMania Reading Challenge championships to win ringside tickets to WrestleMania XXVI in Phoenix in March. The sponsoring library of each finalist wins $2,000. Details on the 2010 challenge are available on YALSA’s website. After the jump, find out how students can win a trip to WrestleMania this year and read about the experiences of last year’s finalists.

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On Saturday, March 29 the Wrestlemania Reading Challenge championships were held in Orlando, FL at the Orlando Public Library. I was thrilled to attend this event as YALSA Vice-President. I got to share the stage with Jimmy “the Mouth of the South” Hart, former manager to Hulk Hogan and also the Hart Foundation. This event is the culmination of a program that began back in Teen Read Week 2007. At that time teens were challenged to read a book or magazine a week for 10 weeks. They could then submit an essay. Ten regional finalists had their essays chosen as the best, and it was those ten teens who were competing in Orlando. Five teens in grades 7-8 read Terry Trueman’s novel Stuck in Neutral, while five teens in grades 9-12 read Matt de la Pena’s novel Ball Don’t Lie. Both authors were there to serve as judges during the championship, which was set up like a quiz show. I’m happy to say that while the teens were incredibly excited and thrilled to meet the professional wrestlers at the event, they were also excited and thrilled to meet these authors. In fact, one teen told me that to meet Matt de la Pena and actually get to talk to him about his novel and find out if things she thought about the novel were what he intended was an amazing experience for her. How’s that for a great testimonial to what a great program this is?

The wrestlers at the event were the Miz, Matt Striker, and CM Punk, and they asked the questions about the books. You didn’t have to be a wrestling fan to appreciate the showmanship and stage presence they had. They really made the event a lot of fun and definitely brought a lot of noise to the library. Backstage I appreciated how genuinely nice they were to all the kids. It was definitely clear that although just two teens would ultimately win the ringside seats to Wrestlemania XXIV, every one of the ten teens who had made it that far was a winner.

It was a close win in the grades 9-12 category, but ultimately Ajoura Gwinn was the winner; in the grades 7-8 category David Silva won.

Thanks to everyone at the Orlando Public Library who helped prepare for this event. It was a great morning and a great YALSA collaboration!

Sarah Debraski

YALSA Vice-President

Midwinter Is Here (almost)
Plenty of YALSA members are en route to Philly as I type (if they’re not there already, as Ms. Lesesne just posted). Check back here for blog updates and podcasts throughout the week and beyond (and keep up to date using Twitter!). We’ve got great stuff planned: the Happy Hour at McGillin’s and Gaming Night on Friday, All Committee and the Holly Black booth signing on Saturday, the @ your library kickoff event and the BBYA Teens session on Sunday, and (of course!) the Youth Media Awards bright and early Monday morning.

For the locations, times, and the latest updates, visit the YALSA Midwinter Wiki!

Youth Media Awards Text Messages!

Can’t make it to Philly? Get the award winners texted to your phone right after the announcement. You can have five or thirteen winners sent directly to your cell phone—just check out the instructions, details, and disclaimers at the YALSA Midwinter Wiki.

WrestleMania Reading Challenge Nearing Conclusion
All reading for the WrestleMania Reading Challenge should be completed by Monday, January 14. Everyone who registered for the WrestleMania Reading Challenge received a packet of posters last fall—the small posters make perfect prizes for teens who turn in reading logs (Out of small posters? Download a PDF version and print more!). Librarians should send the winning essays from each grade category (7-8 and 9-12) to by January 31, 2008. From all the local winners YALSA will choose ten finalists, two each from 5 regions of the country (one from each grade category).

For complete details, visit the WrestleMania Reading Challenge page or the WrestleMania Reading Challenge Ideas & Resources wiki.

Teen Tech Week Registration Continues!
Teen Tech Week is less than a month away! Register today and visit the Teen Tech Week wiki for ideas and resources or to share your own.

Early Registration & Housing for Annual

It’s never too early to think about Anaheim! Registration and housing for ALA Annual Conference 2008 is now open.